Prevalence and Types of Bacterial Contaminants in a Tertiary Hospital in Kenya

Kolek Chester1*, Faith Okalebo2, Benson Singa3, Kavulavu Briton4, Mary Masheti5, Ian Omuom1, Ochieng Odhoch1, Chris Oduol5, Robert Musyimi6, Caroline Tigoi6, Kirkby D Tickell

Background: Hospitals pose a risk of bacterial infections to patients, the environment, and staff. To design Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) programs, facilities need to know the patterns and types of contaminants in various parts of a hospital. The present study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and types of contaminants on hospital surfaces, equipment and healthcare providers’ palms with the aim of informing development and implementation of IPC guidelines at the hospital level.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was done in Migori County Referral Hospital. A total of 62 swabs were collected from selected surfaces, equipment, and health workers palms in April, 2020. They were cultured and bacterial contaminants were identified using standard microbiological procedures.

Results: Of the 62 swabs assessed, 61.3% yielded bacterial growth, from which 46 pathogenic bacteria were identified. The most prevalent isolates in all wards were Acinetobacter species at 41.3% (n=19 of 46 isolates) followed by Enterobacter at 13.0% (n=6/46) and Staphylococcus species at 13.0% (n=6/46).

Conclusion: Contamination of surfaces, equipment, and staff’s hands was high, hence pointing to an elevated risk of Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs). Thus, there is a need to leverage IPC guidelines to limit contamination and curtail the spread of HAIs.

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